Adele Dooner definitely has a different version of “downtime” than most ordinary high school students.
Then again, this Cleveland Heights senior is anything but ordinary.
Dooner just finished a fall season in which she competed for the Tigers in golf, cross country and tennis.
A team captain, a leader, an inspiration and coaches favorite, Dooner did more than just fill out a uniform or a roster spot. On three teams in one season.
And in between all of that, she manages to excel in the classroom and maintain a part-time job.
You think you’ve had a busy 2020? Dooner says hold my 9-iron, cleats and racket.
“Most importantly, I am extremely thankful to Heights – I have been supported by countless coaches and teachers. I have gotten to know so many talented athletes and students. I know at other schools you are not allowed to play multiple sports in the same season, but at Heights my efforts were celebrated. I think every student should take advantage of what Heights has to offer, you can’t find these opportunities anywhere else,” Dooner said.
As a freshman and sophomore, Dooner played tennis in the fall and lacrosse in the spring. Her sophomore year was very difficult, dealing with many personal issues and she wasn’t able to dedicate to the teams like she wanted.
Dooner felt as though a year of her high school career was lost.
When her junior year came around, Dooner decided to make up for lost time by participating in as many activities as possible. She heard they were looking for girls to play golf, but she had never even picked up a golf club – but wanted to give it a shot. It was difficult balancing between two sports at that time, but with the support of coaches she managed to be there for both teams.
“Adele attended every one of our voluntary preseason golf practices from June on when her training in the other sports could be flexibly arranged. Once her season varsity games for tennis started to conflict with golf and she had to miss some golf matches, Adele continued to find time to fit golf practice in and still work on her improving her golf skills even though she may not be able to make it to the match we were practicing for. When she could make a match she played her best and represented on varsity and her score contributed to the team,” Heights coach Fiona Connor said.
Winter was approaching in Dooner’s junior year as well as lacrosse conditioning. Never being particularly fast, she knew if she wanted to play midfield she would have to be in excellent shape. Reluctantly, Dooner signed up for indoor track. Track was unlike any other sport she had played. Nonetheless, it was by far the hardest she ever worked. Dooner was unsure about joining a well established team as a junior, but they immediately accepted her and she was put to work. Dooner has since come to appreciate the sport and the miles upon miles of work that went into the 200 meters of fame.
The physical and mental toll of indoor track and lacrosse was exhausting and on the weekends she worked a part-time job. Dooner had almost no free time and had to take advantage of her lunch period to complete schoolwork.
Dooner’s junior year of lacrosse was wiped out by Covid-19. This year, she is a proud captain of the Golf, Tennis and Lacrosse teams. Her tennis sectionals were on a Monday and the next day on Tuesday was golf sectionals. On the bus ride home from golf, Dooner was thinking about the free time she would have until track, but soon after she received a text. The girls cross country team was down a runner – she had attended a few practices over the summer so was asked to participate. Wednesday, Dooner was on the track.
She was extremely nervous because she knew nothing about the sport, but once again the team was very supportive and after a while felt like she had been running cross country for years.
“Great kid with a big heart and strong work ethic. Because she ran, she gave us the fifth girl necessary to score as a team at the LEL and created the opportunity for Heights to win the league,” Heights cross country coach Scott McNulty said.
Cleveland Heights tennis coach John Laskarides has nothing but praise for Dooner and her work ethic and commitment to the school and all the sports programs.
“Adele demonstrated leadership by bringing a never-give-up mentality to the team. She brought the positivity, encouraged team spirit, and was willing to make sacrifices for the better of the team. Even though she was a multi-sport athlete in the fall season, you would have never known that due to the commitment she made to tennis! She is truly one of a kind,” Lakarides said.